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The McDonaldization of Society

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,794 ratings  ·  101 reviews
This Revised New Century Edition provides many new, relevant examples from recent events and contemporary popular culture, including the ever-increasing global proliferation of McDonald's and other fast food franchises, shopping malls, and similar commercial entities.
Paperback, Rev. ed., 328 pages
Published 2004 by Sage (first published 1995)
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Jonathan-David Jackson
I'm pretty sure Goodreads represents the rationalization of book reviews and is putting mom-and-pop book review sites out of business. I can't help using them for recording and rating the books I've read, though. I'm sorry mom (and pop).
Doug Gil
Really entry level sociology, which is why it is so often referenced/assigned in introductory courses. That said, I don't think it should be avoided by veterans of sociological theory. George Ritzer presents an argument that reinforces Weber's century-old plight of the iron cage but uses a more contemporary backdrop to accomplish it. This is precisely why this book should be used more as a supplement rather than a substitute for Weber.

If you're looking for a really accessible, modern, and compre
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
incompleted :S

Well, the main idea of the book is to show the effects of fast-food chains on society. Given an extremely famous example which is MacDonald, the author explains how such a fast-food chain could influence people's values, perceptions, behaviors and lifestyles. Other examples are mentioned also in the book like IKEA and Starbucks ( Starbuckzation !)and how they changed and affected society's lifestyle to a remarkable extent, especially if you were talking about Arabian or Asian count
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was sitting in a pile of books slated for a garage sale. I picked it up for something to browse for a short time and couldn't put it down. At this point, everyone should already know that McDonalds is unhealthy... that's not what this book is about. It's about how the processes behind the McDonalds formula (rationalization, efficiency, consistency, really the same stuff of Henry Ford's assembly line) has seeped into all aspects of American society (and is seeping into global society), and h ...more
Alex Birchall
I read the 2013 revised edition, which still serves as a fairly competent work in the study of social organisation and social processes. Ritzer's "McDonaldization" is essentially a byword for Max Weber's "rationalisation", encompassing four key dimensions: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. These dimensions are paired, with each pair given its own chapter, and reinforced with a litany of real-life examples of the rationalising imperative Ritzer describes. As the title sugges ...more
Alan Valdez
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I borrowed this book from the library. I liked it, but I do not think I will get my own copy. It is a sobering discussion on the "irrationality of Rationality" and how the pursuit of efficiency, calculability and predictability can be impoverishing, dehumanizing and de-enchanting. Is some ways, it seems to be a re-statement and update of Weber's "Economy and Society", exploring the consequences of formal rationality in the 21st century. However, Ritzer is rather repetitive in this book, his argu ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excellent critique of current society and how it operates as well as solutions to the problems it has created.
Chelsea Jennings
Excellent. Astutely describes the oppressive forces acting in society, outlining the major elements and factors of the modern human condition.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This guy is crazy. C-section is not ''McDonaldization of birth", for fuck's sake.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
I've never seen anyone rubs two facts together and then jump to an unrelated conclusion quite the way George Ritzer does in The McDonaldization of Society.

A professor of sociology at University of Maryland, College Park, Rtizer expands upon Max Weber's theory of rationalization, positing that the fast food industry (specifically McDonald's) best exemplifies a new instrumental rationality based on the four cardinal commercial virtues of efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. Havi
This book really irritated me, although it contains enough grist for the intellectual mill to be of some value to read. Hence two stars rather than one.

The problems with this book exceed my time-budget and energy to address right now. Further, I may actually use these issues as a springboard for future publishable work. Hence, I don't want to say too much at present in a public forum. But I do have a few quick thoughts.

I commend the effort to bring Max Weber, the German sociologist, into the 2
Rachael Birri
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This book draws attention to very important aspects of the way in which our society is becoming globalized, streamlined, and homogenized. It points out many of the irrationality of rationality and the inefficiencies of efficiency. However, after you've read the first 3 or 4 chapters, the book becomes rather repetitive, offering more examples without necessarily an expansion on concepts. This book remains incredibly relevant and I would recommend to anyone concerned about the globalized economy o ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as a class textbook - surprisingly more interesting than I thought it would be!
Hailie Tattrie
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology
Great text! I learned a lot, & it shifted how I look at the industry ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because of a cute classmate of mine. But unfortunately, I found this book largely to be a waste of time. Ritzer defines "McDonaldization as: the process by which the principles of the fast food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of the American society as well as the rest of the world." He then identifies 4 "dimensions" of the McDonaldization process, 1. Predictability 2. Efficiency 3. Calculability 4. Control. I really don't need to explain further what he means ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The gist of the book is about the dangers of MacDonalization, which is the approach taken by most fast food restaurants and increasingly more and more other types of businesses in the USA and other countries. MacDonaldization is driven by an increased search for efficiency and uniformity, which tends to maximize profits and maximize the number of customers that can be served.

However, the increased efficiency usually plays into the hands of the corporations and not into the hands of the consumers
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I though that this book would be more focused on McDonalds but as it turns out it is more about the trends that are so well encapsulated in the business that most people will be familiar with, McDonalds.

In many ways the book focuses on the more negative impacts of the modern culture of 'fast food'. This is not to say that the issues are not relevant or valid, however the growth of such modern businesses doesn't happen without their ability to successfully satisfy a need.

In many ways the book por
Bob Beemsterboer
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The term, “McDonaldization,” was coined by the University of Maryland professor of sociology, George Ritzer. McDonaldization refers to the process of how the principles of the fast food industry are rapidly dominating the rest of society. These principles include efficiency, calculability, uniformity, and control through automation, which are becoming more and more evident in our everyday lives. Ritzer claims McDonaldization is quickly taking the human element out of all interaction, since every ...more
Albara Alkheliwi
Sep 28, 2014 is currently reading it
its great book whatever your perspective about the author opinions...George Ritzer discuss the mcdonaldization as a phenomena in contemporary society and build whole theorietical and practical world assert these phenomenona.
When you start to read the book you think its major concern to show how mcdonalds overtake our life but when you proceed reading you will be stunned by fabulous dissecting of mcdonalds phenomena to its attributes and deriving solid facts thats explain turning to ( rationalize
Mar 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: social-studies
Finally finished reading this book. The premise is interesting enough: post-modernism, capitalism, rationalization, and how all of this form the psychological landscape of our society today. The first half of the book is very repetitive and slow-going; thankfully, the second have is provocative and faster. The author even offers a list of ways to resist "McDonaldization" as an individual! Recommended to anyon who wants to kill time in an intelligent fashion. Viva la revolucion. (Soci/urban studi ...more
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
After reading this book, you will rethink every subtle way big businesses controls its employees and consumer. From the robotic scripted encounters you will have with the employees at McDonald's to the self-service drink dispensers some restaurants provide (do you get a discount for serving yourself?). Let's not forget the self-checkout some supermarkets have implemented--this is a prime example of the Mcdonaldization of Society.

Efficiency, Calculability, Predictability, Control is how Ritzer d
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I re read this book after having read it for an intro sociology course in college. The concept of McDonaldizing society has stuck with me from the first time reading it and I've viewed various situations I've been in with this novel in mind. It is especially applicable to my current field of education and very thought provoking. Definitely recommend it for anyone looking to expand their their understanding on how processes in education or the work force have come to resemble those of a fast food ...more
Shafiq Razak Rajan
Ritzer challenges us to see that the McDonaldization, or the rationalization, of society as being detrimental for us to fulfill our true human potential. Everything that composed as society, from the education system, medicine, politics - all of them tend to emulate the fast-food chains model of increasing efficiency, decreasing human interference, to gain the maximum amount of profit possible.

This book is relatively readable compared to other Sociology books that I've read. I like how the auth
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Please embrace individualism and individually-owned businesses!!

"Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual -- you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do." Eleanor Roosevelt

The author's theoretical arguments are easy to follow and work wonders at opening eyes to the ramifications of extreme consumerism and mass-produced "culture" on our societies and selves.
Allyson Stallman
One of my favorites, if not favorite, books from my University Days. I still refer to my 1999 copy of the book when making social arguments with friends. It's amazing how little people know that their eating and shopping experiences (for just two examples) are tailored to get them in and out quickly and having spent as much money as possible. You think you have free will? Read this book and think again.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great perspective on the run way corporate take over of American society and its spread across the globe.
While the system appears rational, the end results are irrational. War, poverty, inequality, dehumanization of the individual, authoritarianism, and the regimentation and conditioning of people into obedient cogs in the neo-liberal capitalist system.
The sub title should be: the death of individualism and the assimilation into corporate collectivism.
The first half describes the downsides of McDonaldisation, including the roots of factory-type standardisation and its potentially degrading effects. There is good material to reflect on here.

However the 2nd half turns to a pseudo- scientific attempt at sociology , the pact of globalisation etc, that stretches credulity.
Finally, as the book is 10 years old, in some aspects, it's rather dated.

So a mix. Read chapters 1-7 for sure.
Xander Fraum
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh what a chilling book. This highly readable book is a perfect explanation of Max Weber's Iron Cage of Rationality, which is like one of the most powerful ideas I ever encountered. If you were ever wondering why everything's so goddamn boring, mass produced, standardized and were wondering where all the magic of the world is, this book goes very far in explaining the origin and growth of that type of thinking. Nice small book, packs a punch.
Mary Sharp
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book for my SOC310:Sociology of Organizations class. It pairs well with discussions on bureaucracy, organizations, and Max Weber's social theories. It can be a little dry at times, and some examples used are quite extreme, however the ideas behind them and how they fit into this book work well together. I have a few criticisms myself on some topics but all in all, it's a well researched, well applied, and well written book that is thought provoking.
Laura Nelson
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at how our current society is organized using the four features of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. Living in suburbia (a Mcdonaldized notion to community in itself), I literally just stood in the middle of a parking lot and could see every aspect of McDonaldization in each shop. I like that this book offered some ideas on how to deMcDonaldize, but having predictability and efficiency isn't always a bad thing.
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George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. He has named at Distinguished-Scholar Teacher at Maryland and received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award. Among his academic awards are an Honorary Doctorate from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; Honorary Patron, University Philosophical Society, Trinity C ...more

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